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These At-Home Facial Steps Will Leave You With Youthful, Glowing Skin — For Pennies!

Indulge in some self care without leaving your house!

Few things in life leave you glowing like a good facial — they can leave your skin looking clearer, smoother and more youthful, and the pampering treatment is oh so relaxing! And while making a weekly appointment with a facialist sounds lovely, the truth is that can be both time- and cost-prohibitive for many of us. Luckily, there are DIY strategies that allow you to get some skin-pampering action in in your own bathroom. Read on for the at-home facial steps and tips from three top skincare experts that bring the spa to you. 

What are the benefits of an at-home facial?

Not only are DIY facials wallet-friendly and convenient, but “at-home facials are a great way to stay on top of skincare issues and concerns,” says celebrity esthetician and skin care expert Gina Mari. Some concerns your at home facial can address are acne, aging, dryness, patchiness and more. 

They’re especially good if your skin is reactive, says Rachel Lee Lozina, a licensed esthetician and founder of Blue Water Spa in Oyster Bay, New York.  She assures, “if you have sensitive skin and are prone to skin reactions from products, you can control exactly what’s going on your skin when you do it at home.”

And celebrity esthetician and co-host of the podcast Beauty Curious Ian Michael Crumm points out, “performing a facial at home can be a calming and enjoyable self-care ritual, promoting overall well-being.” But Mari warns, “using the proper techniques and products for your specific skin type is imperative to achieving optimum results.”

The at-home facial steps to youthful, glowing skin

Keep scrolling to see the simple at home facial steps that help turn back the clock.

Woman washing her face, which is one of the at home facial steps
miodrag ignjatovic/Getty

Step 1: Cleanse

“Start by cleansing your face to remove makeup, dirt and oil,” says Crumm. This gives you a “clean slate” to help all of the products used afterward to work better. When you have a little extra time, Mari suggests taking it some step further, saying “I love to start any at-home treatment with a nice shower or bath.” 

Step 2: Exfoliate

“Gently exfoliate to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores,” says Crumm. This could be with a physical exfoliant (scrub) or a chemical exfoliant (alpha hydroxy acids/beta hydroxy acids products), depending on your preference. 

Step 3: Steam

To loosen any dirt, oils or other impurities embedded in your pores, hold your face a few inches above a bowl filled with water or an at home facial steamer. Steam for 5 minutes.

Step 4: Do gentle extractions (optional)

While Crumm suggests leaving extractions to your dermatologist or esthetician, if you have a pimple or blackhead that easily rises to the surface or can be relieved by only gently pushing down, you can get away with a little bit here. But be warned, he says, “this is very easy to overdo!”

Step 5: Mask up

Mature woman applying face mask on skin

Apply a clay, cream or sheet mask based on your skin type or concerns. Leave the mask on for 10-15 minutes, then rinse.

Step 6: Swipe on toner (optional)

If you’re using a toner, work it in now to lift away any leftovers of your mask and balance your skin’s pH levels. No toner on hand? Simply rinse your skin well. 

Step 7: Apply serum

woman holding bottle of facial serum

Apply the serum of your choice. You won’t want to skip this step because serums are packed with active ingredients that can address skin concerns like redness, wrinkles, discoloration and more. 

Related: Collagen Serum Is Kate Middleton’s Secret to Glowing Skin — and Dermatologists Say She’s Definitely Onto Something!

Step 8: Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!

Restore any lost hydration during your facial with your favorite moisturizer.

To see these steps in action, watch the below video from @SarahSaleen on YouTube.

How to customize your at-home facial

Now that you know the at home facial steps, here’s how you can tweak your facial to best suit your skin type or concerns.

If you have sensitive skin

Lozina suggests using a DIY mask to soothe any irritation. “Blend oatmeal and manuka honey with some fat-free yogurt for a soothing, calming and hydrating mask.”

If you have oily skin

mature woman removing face mask with sponge
Catherine Falls Commercial/Getty

Use a clay mask to absorb excess oil, says Crumm. Mari specifically likes volcanic clay masks to sop up oil. 

If you have dry skin

“Consider incorporating a facial oil to boost hydration,” says Crumm.

If you have acne-prone skin

For your mask step, Lozina says, “mix half [of] an avocado with a teaspoon [each] of turmeric and manuka honey for a healing, soothing and anti-inflammatory effect.”

If you have mature skin

Crumm suggests using anti-aging masks with ingredients like retinol or peptides (both promote skin-firming collagen production) and a rich, nourishing moisturizer.

When should you skip a facial?

Generally, if your skin is inflamed in any way, it’s best to take a break from facials.  For example, “if you’re starting a new product with any alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids or retinols, please use caution with any at-home treatments as your skin is most likely still adjusting to the new product usage,” says Mari. “As well, if you’re really inflamed with a severe breakout, more isn’t necessarily more. Sometimes leaving your skin to breathe for a couple days is better than attempting to over treat it.” 

Crumm adds, “individuals with sensitive skin or certain skin conditions should be cautious with irritating products and may want to skip steaming the face.” If you’re not sure what can be irritating for your skin, ask your dermatologist or esthetician for guidance.  

The best at-home facial products

Looking to build your skincare arsenal for to use as part of your at home facial steps? Try these must-haves.

Best at home facial cleanser

grace & stella Cleansing Balm
grace & stella

grace & stella Cleansing Balm (Buy from Amazon, $17.06)

Lozina loves to start facials with this cleanser because. She says, “it emulsifies from a solid into a balm and gently removes stubborn makeup, dirt, sunscreen and other gunk from your skin.”

Best at home facial exfoliator

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment
Kate Somerville

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment (Buy from Dermstore, $24)

A favorite of Crumm’s, this exfoliator smooths away rough spots with a magic combination of lactic acid, salicylic acid, silica, papaya, pineapple and pumpkin enzymes. But because it also contains soothing aloe vera and honey, it does so without leaving skin irritated. 

Best at home facial mask

Arbonne Radiance Sheet Mask with Niacinamide

Arbonne Radiance Sheet Mask with Niacinamide (Buy from Arbonne, $11)

This mask makes Crumm’s list thanks in part to the vitamin C inside that he says is particularly good for perking up a mature complexion. It’s also jam-packed with a full 1 fl oz. of serum with skin-barrier-boosting niacinamide to help deliver a lasting radiant finish. 

Best at home facial moisturizer

Goldfaden MD Vital Boost Even Skintone Daily Moisturizer

Goldfaden MD Vital Boost Even Skintone Daily Moisturizer (Buy from Amazon, $27)

Crumm says this cream is a dream come true for dry skin thanks to the hyaluronic acid inside that not only boosts hydration, but also plumps fine lines. It also offers antioxidant protection with organic red tea extract, gooseberry extract and grapefruit oil.

Best at home facial neck cream

Baebody Neck Cream

Baebody Neck Cream (Buy from Walmart, $16.99)

You probably think of your face when you hear the word “facial” — hey, it’s in the name, after all! But your neck should also be part of your routine. That’s why Lozina recommends this fast-absorbing cream as part of your at home regiment. “It’s packed with powerful acids that help boost skin renewal and collagen production.”

Related: Dermatologists Weigh In On the #1 Beauty Blindspot for Women Over 50: A Crepey Neck

Best at home facial steamer

Conair True Glow Moisturizing Mist Facial Sauna System

Conair True Glow Moisturizing Mist Facial Sauna System (Buy from Ulta, $41)

While you can simply use a bowl of steamy water or even a warm towel for your steaming step, this at home steamer will take your DIY facial routine to another level. With an optional nasal cone for concentrated benefits and an included exfoliating brush for extra TLC post-steaming, this tool is hard to beat.  

For more skin care secrets, click through these stories:

Are Flaxseed Masks the New Botox? Dermatologists Weigh In on the Viral Trend

This Winter Skin Care Routine Will Leave You Glowing: Top Dermatologists’ Best Advice

The Key to Healthy, Younger-Looking Skin? Dermatologists Say It’s Probiotics

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